Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: Newsoul #1
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?
Let me just say, I have been on a great streak lately with all the good books I’ve read, and Incarnate is just the latest in that group. By the time I got around to reading it, though, I forgot a lot of what it was about. It’s nice sometimes to go into a book without too many expectations. Incarnate hooked me from the very beginning with such an interesting take on reincarnation, the world building, and great characters. I’ve read a few books that involved reincarnation, but this was definitely different in a very good way.
The story takes place in Range where there are a million souls have been reborn over and over for thousands of years. It’s always these same people being reborn, and they always remember their previous lives. Basically they are immortal, but born into different bodies every time. The best part, they can be reborn as male or female, but they are still themselves. I found this so intriguing. After thousands of years of this, suddenly one of the regular souls, Ciana, does not return, instead a new soul is born. No one knew what to make of it. They were afraid, because what if this happened to someone else? Where was Ciana? What caused this and why?
Ana was the soul who replaced Ciana. Her mother, Li, took her to live out in the country, away from the city of Heart. Li, was physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive. Ana learned everything on her own, always the hard way. She was rarely around other people, kept isolated, never hugged, and was referred to as Nosoul by her mother. I seriously wanted to slap Li.
When Ana turned 18, she decided to go to Heart to see if she can find out more about herself and why she was born instead of Ciana. Along the way, she meets Sam. He’s kind, patient, caring, and Ana doesn’t know what to make of him. The way Ana was so new to the world, experiencing everything for the first time, it reminded me of the Disney movie Tangled. She had an innocent and naive way about her. Also, the fact that Ana had been deprived of experiencing different emotions and reactions from people, made it difficult for her to read them – what they meant or felt. She often thought she was being laughed at when she wasn’t. I felt so bad for her, but I was also proud of her for trying to take a hold of her independence and becoming a stronger person. I loved how encouraging Sam was, and that Ana had at least a small support system in a place that mostly saw her as an outcast.
The world building in Incarnate was very interesting. It felt like a mix of medieval times with a futuristic society. There were dragons and cobble stone streets, but also laser guns and advanced technology. I really enjoyed it. I also loved the butterfly metaphor Meadows used in the story. It was perfect.
There were some unanswered questions that involve the tower and dragons though. I’m assuming they will be answered in the next book, but I want to know. It isn’t a huge deal right now, but it’s significant.
Overall, Incarnate was a wonderful book. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end, and I’m definitely looking forward to book two. I absolutely recommend it.